Moscow, Oct 4 (EFE).- Russian former TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who last year burst onto a live news broadcast to protest Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, was on Wednesday sentenced in absentia to eight-and-a-half years in prison.
A woman watches a recorded feed of the Russian Channel One’s evening news broadcast TV show in which an employee enters Ostankino on-air TV studio with a poster reading ”No War. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you” in Moscow, Russia, 15 March 2022. EFE-EPA FILE/DSK
Basmanny District Court of Moscow reported the sentence, which also included a ban on “activities related to the administration of websites of electronic or information and telecommunication networks, including the internet, for a period of four years,” according to state media outlet TASS.
The charges relate to a July 2022 protest in which she stood opposite the Kremlin holding a sign dedicated to children killed as a result of the war, which said President Vladimir Putin “is a murderer” and “his soldiers are fascists.”
Ovsyannikova first made headlines around the world for her March 2022 protest, in which she crashed a live broadcast, appearing behind a presenter with a placard that read “Stop the war” and “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you” about three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. She was fined for that protest.
Former Russian state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova addresses a press conference organized by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres, RSF) at the RSF headquarters in Paris, France, 10 February 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/MOHAMMED BADRA
The court on Wednesday said her sentence will begin after her arrest on Russian territory or her extradition to Russia.
Ovsyannikova last year escaped house arrest and fled with her daughter to a European country.
The former state TV editor turned Kremlin critic took to Telegram on the eve of her sentencing to say that the charges against her were “absurd and politically motivated.”
“Russian television is a lying propaganda machine, war is war, and Putin is a war criminal,” she said, adding “I do not admit my guilt. And I don’t go back on a single word.” EFE